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Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast

Meta Treks is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated to a deep examination of the philosophical ideas found in Star Trek. In each episode, Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison take you on a fascinating journey into the inner workings of Star Trek storytelling, deeper into subspace than you've ever traveled before.
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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 30, 2016

Crime and Punishment.  

Many different forms of punishment are depicted in Star Trek. From the Risa-like Federation penal colony in New Zealand to engramatic purges and twenty-year virtual prison sentences, Meta Treks hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the ethics of the various forms of punishment seen in the Star Trek universe. Zachary and Mike debate the different possible justifications of punishment in general, such as punishment as a deterrent, punishment as getting what you deserve, punishment as maximizing social utility, punishment as repaying a debt to society, punishment as redemption, and punishment as education. Given the real-world issues of increasing prison populations and the culture of criminalization, Star Trek provides a model of the best (and sometimes the worst) of human nature and of our ideals about how to handle the ever-present problems of crime and punishment in society.  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 29 (00:01:06)
New iTunes Review (00:02:45)
The Ready Room - 200th Episode (00:06:35)
Initial Thoughts on Punishment in Star Trek (00:10:15)
Luxurious Federation Penal Colonies (00:12:19)
Federation vs. Non-Federation Punishment (00:13:30)
Possible Justifications for Punishment (00:15:21)
Intentionality and Gradations of Punishment (00:19:06)
The Death Penalty in TOS "The Menagerie" (00:21:02)
The Variety of Punishments in Star Trek (00:26:49)
Virtual Punishment - Chief O'Brien in DS9 "Hard Time" (00:29:49)
Engramatic Purge - B'Elanna Torres in VOY "Random Thoughts" (00:35:59)
Paying Debt to Society (00:41:00)
The Evolution and Future of the Prison - Michael Foucault (00:44:09)
The Bell Riots and the Culture of Criminalization (00:48:14)
The Punishment Box in DS9 "Paradise" (00:55:23)
Klingons - The Presumption of Guilt and Hereditary Punishment (00:58:12)
Compassion and Punishment - Cue the Picard Speech (01:06:05)
The Role of Anger and Disgust - Vulcan Logic or Human Emotion? (01:11:46)
Zachary's Final Thoughts (01:20:41)
Mike's Final Thoughts (01:27:23)

Hosts
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison

Production
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

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May 16, 2016

Enterprise Season Four - Essential Trek Philosophy. 

In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling are joined by fellow Trek.fm hosts Jeffrey Harlan and Norman Lao to discuss their top picks for "Essential Trek Philosophy" from season four of Star Trek: Enterprise. From the ethics of genetic engineering and disease control to the metaphysics of transporters and telepresence-controlled starships, Enterprise season four is loaded with philosophical issues and themes in the highest Star Trek tradition.  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 28 (00:01:06) 
Welcome Norman Lao (00:02:23) 
Welcome Jeffrey Harlan (00:03:23) 
Initial Thoughts (00:04:04) 
Home (00:09:48) 
Observer Effect (00:20:16) 
The Aenar (00:32:16) 
Daedalus (00:45:57) 
Demons/Terra Prime (01:00:36) 
The Forge/Awakening/Kir'Shara (01:05:43) 
Affliction (01:14:04) 
The Augment Arc (01:22:02) 
Norman and Jeffrey's Final Thoughts (01:23:59) 
Final Thoughts (01:30:43)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Guests 
Jeffrey Harlan and Norman Lao  

Production 
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
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Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
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Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm  

May 9, 2016

The Industrial Design Philosophy of Star Trek. 

The tools, manufactured objects, and environments in Star Trek have many influences: futurism, minimalism, mid-century modernism, ergonomics, and transhumanism, to name a few. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison examine the industrial design philosophy of Star Trek. From its technological and social progressivism to its roots in 1960s counterculture, Zachary and Mike explore the implicit values and assumptions behind the industrial design philosophy of Star Trek. Zachary and Mike also debate the transformative potential of technology and its influence on the relationship between leisure and labor, both in the Star Trek universe and for us today. 

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 27 (00:01:08)
Initial Thoughts (00:01:54)
The Original Series - Design Philosophy and Technological Progressiveness (00:04:14)
The Next Generation - User-friendliness and the Transformative Power of Technology (00:07:55)
From TOS to TNG - From Jelly Beans to Touch Screens (00:12:42)
The Whole Earth Catalog - 1960s Counterculture, Tools, and Technology (00:15:05)
The Amplification Effect of Technology - The U.S.S. Bicycle (00:16:24)
From Communes to Online Communities to Starship Crews (00:20:17)
Can Technology Transform the Human Condition? (00:21:13)
Okudagram Funny Cat Videos (00:40:57)
Using Tools to Change Your Life, and the World (00:42:51)
Painting, Classical Music, and Shakespeare - The Liberal Arts in Star Trek (00:44:34)
24th Century Design - Flying a Starship Laying Down (00:50:34)
Learning about Cultural Values from Designed Objects (00:52:24)
Designed Objects in Star Trek (00:58:21)
Uniquely Voyager Design? (01:04:06)
Final Thoughts (01:12:38)

Hosts
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison 

Production
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) 

Send us your feedback!
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm 

Support the Network!
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm 

May 2, 2016

Euthanasia in Star Trek. 

In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, we debate the ethical issue of euthanasia in Star Trek. From the flashback scene of Dr. McCoy removing his father from life support in Star Trek V, to the ritual suicide practices of various alien races, we examine a variety of examples of euthanasia in Star Trek. We also cover several key philosophical distinctions related to euthanasia, such as the distinction between voluntary and involuntary euthanasia and the distinction between active and passive euthanasia, along with competing arguments for and against euthanasia from the different moral standpoints of consequentialism, rule-based ethics, and virtue ethics.  

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 26 (00:02:02)
Greek Etymology of "Euthanasia" - "Good Death" (00:04:45)
Examples of Euthanasia in Star Trek (00:05:29)
Euthanasia in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (00:07:51)
Motivations for Euthanasia - Ending Suffering and Preserving Dignity (00:10:06)
Klingon Euthanasia - A Glorious Death (00:13:50)
Euthanasia and Cultural Relativism (00:18:29)
The Value of Life - Intrinsic Value vs. Instrumental Value (00:19:55)
Voyager "Death Wish" - Is an Immortal Life Worth Living? (00:26:13)
Voyager "Emanations" - Moral Judgments About Other Cultures (00:33:45)
Voyager "Coda" - Euthanizing Captain Janeway (00:40:00)
Key Distinctions - Voluntary/Involuntary Euthanasia and Active/Passive Euthanasia (00:47:15)
Distinguishing Euthanasia, Killing, Murder, and Suicide (00:58:04)
Final Thoughts (01:09:55)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm  

Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm  

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